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15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

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13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

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10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

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9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

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7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

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1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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‘Amsterdam example for conservatives’

18 July 2007 - Conservatives should care about the environment, but at the local level, British philosopher Roger Scruton writes. He cites Amsterdam’s bicycle regime as an example to be followed.

“The job of protecting the environment is one that citizens must undertake, and we will - just as soon as we see it to be ours”, writes Scruton in an article in the American Conservative. He says the environment should not be left to states, global treaties and ‘corrupt and unaccountable’ organisations such as Greenpeace.

Instead, citizens should be left to work out solutions among themselves at the local level. When freed of top-down interference, people will naturally tend to feelings of trusteeship, Scruton holds.

He cites Amsterdam as an example of how solutions can be negotiated at the local level. “At a certain point, it became so obvious that cars were ridiculous that all the canals were turned into bicycle lanes”, he writes, slightly exaggerating.

While bicycles are ‘fiendishly dangerous’ to pedestrians (‘the only aspect of Dutch culture that seems to give full scope to aggression’), they provide a solution to Amsterdam’s transportation problem that preserves the ecology.

American Conservative. Photo: Nexus Institute


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